The 2024 Club Improvement Fund is now open for new applications

Our purpose at England Athletics is to inspire more athletes and runners of all abilities and backgrounds to fulfil their potential and to have a lifelong love for the sport. We know that clubs face many financial barriers, so providing funding opportunities is an integral part of the support we offer to member clubs.

We are pleased to announce that the Club Improvement Fund is once again open for applications.

About the fund

The Club Improvement Fund provides grants of up to £500 to support clubs to reduce some of the barriers they may be facing and help them to provide a welcoming and vibrant environment for their members.

We are particularly interested in club projects that focus on one or more of the points below;

  • Improving your online presence to support communication with existing members and welcome new ones.
  • Recruitment and training of new volunteers or supporting the development of your existing workforce to add capacity or enhance member experience.
  • Providing new opportunities to members, giving them a vibrant experience at your club.
  • Supporting the development of an athlete pathway within the club.
  • Developing links with your local community.

The grant programme, which again will offer affiliated clubs funding of up to £500 is open throughout the year. However we do have a limited amount of funds and once this allocation has been granted the fund will close for the year.

Please note that clubs who received Club Improvement Funding for coach education last year will not be eligible to apply for coach education grants this time but can apply for other projects.

Apply now

Hear from clubs

Last year England Athletics provided grants to 104 Clubs. This funding helped clubs with a range of projects including improving their online presence, increasing the number of qualified coaches and leaders at their club, and creating a safe environment for athletes to train.

We caught up with Richard Seville from St Helens Striders to learn more about how the running club has benefitted from the grant it received from last year’s Club Improvement Fund:

“At the St Helens Striders the fund has enabled us to develop a new website which is more modern and user friendly and develop our social media reach. This has allowed us to be more appealing to a wider audience and as a result we have attracted more members, giving us the highest membership numbers in the club’s history.”

Nick Inge, treasurer of Verwood Runners, shared how the club used their grant towards purchasing a club defibrillator to ensure athletes are able to train in a safe environment.

"We aim to have the club defibrillator available on most run evenings and often it is carried by a non-runner on a cycle (we usually have cycling volunteers who are recovering from injury etc)... We have circulated a training video to our team. Whilst I am pleased to say it has not been used, it is a great comfort to our group to know we have this to fall back on if ever needed."

Robin Barnet (Sandbach Striders) spoke about how the club had used the funding to build their Running Fitness (LiRF) numbers from three to seven, while also leading a Couch to 5k to encourage more people in the local community to start running.

"I want to thank England Athletics for supporting us on this project as it has really given us a boost to transforming our club where we now have a pathway to help runners build from a Couch to 5K all the way to running a marathon and be more self-sufficient in the process."

Finally, we caught up with Sam Barlow (Fitmums and Friends), who shared how the group had used the funding to enhance their member experience:

“It is great to see that England Athletics are once again providing small grants to clubs. The funding we received last year helped us to put on a series of 5km events for members from all our Clubs to meet up and run/walk with each other. It allowed us to host this on a 1km circle circuit providing a safe environment, and creating camaraderie and support for all.”

Learn more about Club Improvement Fund